Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brian Lenihan’s illness, John Crown and TV3

It was on the News @ 5.30 on St Stephen’s Day 2009 that TV3 broadcast that Brian Lenihan was seriously ill.   This report, included a contribution by the distinguished cancer specialist, John Crown, in which he described his expert knowledge of pancreatic cancer, including the implications of both timely and untimely diagnosis.

The report prompted a considerable number of complaints to the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, including one from me.  The Authority issued a finding on 9 March 2010 that this broadcast was within the requirements of the fairness, objectivity and impartiality rule, as defined by the Broadcasting Act 2009.    The Authority found on viewing the report that the reference to the type of cancer was editorially justified and in the public interest. 

But the Authority also found that the content of the report could have been considered by some viewers as distressful and / or offensive. TV3 stated that it is solely responsible for its decision to broadcast the news report, including the timing and the manner of the report and TV3 acknowledged that its news bulletin caused genuine upset.

I wish to retract my criticism of Mr Crown’s contribution to the report and express regret for any personal offence, or hurt, that he might have felt as a consequence of my criticism.

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